|People who know me know how much I love casseroles. I love the fact that minutes of prep yields such a spectacular result, i love the cooking smells that waft through my kitchen, and I love the warm all over feeling I get when eating this ultimate comfort food. This version of beef and vegetable casserole is flavoured with oranges and cloves and the result is flavoursome and luscious. Enjoy and happy cooking
1/4 cup oil for frying
1 cup plain flour
1 kg chuck steak, cut into large cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 ml red wine
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, bruised
1 orange – remove the zest with a vegetable peeler, and squeeze the juice.
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
4 large potatoes, cubed roughly
3 large carrots, sliced
200 g mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
- Preheat a large heavy-bottomed (ideally cast iron) saucepan with the oil
- Place the cubed beef into a plastic bag and season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then put the flour into the bag. Shake to coat the beef in the flour and seasoning.
- Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
- Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits.
- Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
- After 1 hour add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, and mushrooms. Continue to simmer for the rest of the cooking time (1.5 hours) . Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
- Serve with mashed potato, rice or a loaf of crusty sourdough.